A "tolerance" training session for dorm advisers at Reed College in Oregon included a graphic showing "Make America Great Again" — the slogan from President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign — as an example of "covert white supremacy," The College Fix reported.
The outlet said the pyramid graphic divides white supremacy examples into two categories: overt and covert. The following image is identical to the image The College Fix included with its story:
Image source: Twitter
Overt white supremacy
The pyramid's examples of overt white supremacy — i.e., socially unacceptable — are lynching, hate crimes, swastikas, the N-word, KKK, burning crosses, racial slurs, racist jokes, and neo-Nazis.
Covert white supremacy
Right at the top of the pyramid section that shows examples of covert white supremacy — i.e., socially acceptable — is the phrase "Make America Great Again." It sits right next to hiring discrimination and police murdering people of color.
Other examples of covert white supremacy on the pyramid are: cultural appropriation, celebration of Columbus Day, denial of white privilege, Confederate flags, colorblindness, white savior complex, self-appointed white ally, and racist mascots.
What did the school have to say?
A spokesman for the private liberal arts college told The College Fix that the pyramid illustration was used only as a conversation starter for about three minutes as part of an hourlong January training session.
"It's provocative, and that was the intention, was to present the RAs with something provocative and spur a conversation about the difference between implicit bias versus explicit bias," Kevin Myers told the outlet.
Myers added to The College Fix that "this is a way to provoke discussion about what people think is acceptable or unacceptable. It's actually about tolerance, not about intolerance."
He also told the outlet that Reed staff didn't create the pyramid diagram but that it was downloaded from the internet by the college's Office for Inclusive Community.
That office says it "seeks to build community for collective liberation and positive social change through relationships with students, staff, faculty, and members of the broader Portland community; support students' holistic wellness; expand the scope of the academic mission by offering opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the outside world, especially as it pertains to social change, social justice, equity, and racial justice; and create positive structural and systemic change that advances institutional equity at Reed."
The school's Office of Residence Life declined to comment, The College Fix said.
What did someone else from the school have to say?
"They're actually training new RAs to identify and stereotype anyone wearing MAGA hats or T-shirts as 'covert white supremacists,'" a source from the school — who provided the College Fix with the pyramid diagram and asked to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation — told the outlet. "This isn't a whole lot different than saying anyone who wears a hijab is a Muslim terrorist."
What else did the spokesman say?
Myers added to The College Fix that Reed is a diverse campus that includes a Federalist and conservative club.
"It really is about how do we all get along in the same space?" he told the outlet. "How do we not stereotype and make assumptions, but how do we just let people be themselves and be more accepting about that."
You might recall
In 2017, some Reed students decried a mandatory freshman-level literature course focused on the works of Greco-Romans who paved the way for western civilization because it was too white. Reedies Against Racism demanded the curriculum be "reformed to represent the voices of people of color."
Reed last year agreed to revise Humanities 110.